On our way up the coast, my husband and I started talking about our career choices. He’s an aerospace engineer. I’m a lawyer. I love a lot of things about the law, but it doesn’t spark my creative side.
He asked me why I didn’t choose another career field since I clearly have passions in other areas. The truth of the matter is that I didn’t know about them.
I started using a computer at the age of nine. By the age of 12, I learned how to be a graphic designer with color separation (the old fashioned way). I have had a series of freelance design gigs since.
But I had no desire to be a “starving artist”. I didn’t want to spend my entire day behind a computer.
Yet, here I am. I spend a good portion of my day behind a computer. If we had to live on my income alone, we would certainly be starving.
Quite frankly, I really enjoy what I do. Now, I do a bit of computer graphic design, document formatting, editing and many more things in the tech field. I think I’ve been hesitant to go all in because I have a lot on my plate and not sure that I should make the commitment.
I wish I had known more early. Thankfully, my daughters will know have experiences way beyond what I had because organizations like CompTIA spread the word to encourage more girls to enter the world of IT.
Girls in Technology
New CompTIA-commissioned research, based on a survey and focus groups of girls between the ages of 10 and 17, identifies several critical factors that discourage girls from considering careers in tech.
- Parents play a key role in introducing technology – Girls and boys agree that parents and guardians are the primary source for finding out what IT stands for. But boys are more likely to begin using mobile devices at an earlier age, at five years old or younger, than girls (11 percent vs. 5 percent). Boys are also slightly more likely to explore the inner workings of tech devices out of curiosity (36 percent vs. 30% of girls).
- Girls’ interest in technology lessens with age – Nearly half of boys have considered a tech career, compared to less than one-quarter of girls. Among middle school girls, 27 percent have considered a career in technology. By high school this figure drops to 18 percent.
- Tech classes aren’t enough –Girls who have taken a technology class are only slightly more likely to have considered an IT career (32 percent). Less than half of girls who’ve taken these courses are confident their skills are right for the job.
- Girls lack awareness about career opportunities – 69 percent of girls who did not pursue IT attribute this to not knowing what opportunities are available to them. More than half (53 percent) say additional information about career options would encourage them to consider a job in IT.
- Girls need role models in the industry – Just 37 percent of girls know of someone with an IT job. This rises to 60 percent among girls who have considered an IT career.
Women have played essential and vital roles throughout the history of computing and technology, from pioneering programmers such as Rear Admiral Grace M. Hopper and the ENIAC Girls, to today’s leaders at Facebook, YouTube, HP, Alphabet, Xerox and other companies. Read the entire press release here.